A parent disapproving of their child taking an interest in a hobby or career that goes against perceived gender norms is a stock plot that crops up in fiction to a relatively high degree. The moral of these stories is "being true to who you are".
In many works, the plot involves a teenage boy has or discovers a passion for a "girly" hobby (e.g. ballet, cooking, singing, double-Dutch), however people around him (usually the father) are pushing him to follow a different "manly" one (e.g. sports, manual labor, criminal activity, etc.). In others, the character is a girl who has a love for something stereo-typically unfeminine like football, boxing, or any other field or hobby thats considered masculine that her parents disapprove of.
In both portrayals, the character is often torn between their love for their parent(s) and their love for their gender non-conforming hobby. In the end, their parents find out about their childs feminine or masculine hobby theyll either be against it at first but eventually come around to it or it's revealed that the parent never had a problem with it and is fine with their kid pursuing it. Either way, the child will usually either give up the hobby for the "girly" or boyish hobby or theyll find a way to continue pursuing both at the same time. The teenage years are usually the focus since that's generally when people start to find their way as individuals. It's also common for these characters to be motherless. But if their mom is around, she's likely to be supportive of it (at least more so than her husband), which could lead to tension between the boy's parents.
It's similar to the Coming-Out Story, except the character doesn't have to be gay their secret hobby is a great way to meet the guys or girls after all. But if they are, it could add another layer to the dilemma since this tends to be what the parents fear all along.
Openly embracing their passion may result in I Am What I Am.
For stories where a girl defies gender conceptions to prove that she's just as good athletically as the boys, see You Go, Girl!.
- One US commercial for the Real Yellow Pages featured the short tale of a tattooed, mohawked punk rocker who grew dissatisfied with his friends, because while he enjoyed hanging out with them, it was an incomplete life. One quick check of the phone book later (we don't see the page he consults very clearly, but the book is opened to the N's), and the punk rocker is grinning in quiet satisfaction as he practices his needlepoint skills, alongside the other members of the needlepoint club (all gray-haired old ladies, who seem to take the punk's presence as if people like him join their club every single day) that he found and contacted by way of the phone book.
- It could be argued that this is a major plot in the Ranma ½ manga and anime - Ranma being compelled by his parents to be a "Man Among Men", while his Magical Curse compels him to be female part of the time. By the end of the manga, he seems to have pretty much accepted that he changes from one to the other and has even learned to enjoy the perks he can get in his female form, like cooking, wearing nice clothes, even tricking other guys into doing his bidding. That said, he still considers himself to really be a man, and will still leap at the possibility of a cure, even running away from Akane in the final wedding to try and grab a cask of Nanniichuan.
- Ruby from Pokémon Adventures has a passion for contests and a revulsion for battling (due to a traumatic incident involving Forgotten Childhood Friend Sapphire, who became a Blood Knight Wild Child as a result). Oh yeah, his dad is a Gym Leader. Interesting case in that Ruby doesn't care for his father's approval (as he hates everything Norman stands for) and Norman was going to let Ruby do whatever the hell he wanted, but Ruby running away from home pissed Norman off so much that he sicced his Pokémon on Ruby the next time they saw each other.
- The entire point of the manga series Otomen. Up to Eleven in that the main character likes ALL girly things. Played with in that it's the mother that's pushing her son to be manly, out of fear that he might become a transsexual like his father.
- Inverted, as in the Monty Python example below, in Macross Frontier, but played for drama (mostly): Alto wants to be a fighter pilot; his father wants him to be a female-impersonating Kabuki actor.
- In Digimon Adventure, part of Sora's backstory (and quite a bit of her Angst) is due to this. Sora is a Tomboy and wants to go out and play soccer and her mother wants her to be a "proper" young lady, stay in and learn flower arranging. As such, Sora came to believe her mother was disappointed in her and didn't like her (hence the angst).
- This forms a recurring subplot in Kekkaishi where Yoshimori wants to get good at baking cakes, even enlisting the help of the ghost of a recently-deceased pastry chef to help him; his grandfather, naturally, disapproves. The coming-out story elements don't really factor in, though; Yoshimori is doing it mostly to impress Tokine.
- Bartender: It's only hinted at, but Ryu's backstory has a strong flavor of this. Piecing together what we've learned so far, Ryu's father was a high-ranking politician referred to as "the monster of Nagata-Cho", and Ryu grew up in a privileged home, but threw away his father's support in order to become a bartender.
- Downplayed due to the lack of onscreen parents, but Kouta and Yuu both go through variations of it in Sanrio Boys.
- In Kouta's case, the premise is inverted: his grandmother was nothing but supportive about his love for Pompompurin. Kouta forced himself to bottle it up so he wouldn't have to face people like his childhood bullies again.
- Yuri fills the "disappointed parent" role for Yuu, having grown up hoping her brother would become cooler and manlier than the pastel-wearing flirtatious goofball he is at current. She starts to come around the end of her episode but still doesn't get into Sanrio.
- The premise of The Loud House fanfic Lincoln Gets Limber is that when Lincoln's parents request Lincoln to find a sport he can do in order to get regular exercise, he tries out gymnastics at the local sports center because Girl Jordan suggested it and he ends up really liking it. However, he claims that he's actually doing dodgeball instead because he's afraid his friends and family will mock him for doing a traditionally girly sport. Fortunately, his parents, his closest friends, and the sisters that know about it so far ( Lynn, Leni, and Lucy) are supportive of it because they can tell Lincoln really loves doing the sport. This is lampshaded by Chris, the gymnastics coach, who isnt surprised that Lincoln lied about what sport he was really doing because Lincolns not the first male gymnast hes known to have done so out of fear of mockery.
- Artie, the only other boy in Lincoln's gymnastics class, tells him that he went through a similar situation when he first started gymnastics. He got interested after coming across the Royal Woods high school gymnastics team and his mother and older brother were supportive, but he hid it from his father due to his traditional ideas about masculinity. When Artie's father did find out, he wasn't too pleased at first but came around to accept it.
- Wonderfully subverted in this fan comic, based on the words of educator Sir Ken Robinson (and probably at least somewhat inspired by the Trope Maker).
- How to Train Your Dragon takes this in a fairly interesting direction with the relationship between Hiccup and his father Stoick. Hiccup starts out as a bookish Non-Action Guy who struggles in vain to live up to the expectations of uber-manly Viking culture, while his father looks on and wonders just how on earth that talking fishbone came from his genes. Hiccup discovers that, while he does not have what it takes to kill dragons like the perfect, tough Viking son, he is a pretty fair hand at a somewhat less "masculine" activity - befriending and training said dragons. This results in a bit of friction with his father, who considers dragon-slaying as both the courageous thing to do and the only proven, effective way of defending his clan's village. In the end, Hiccup gives up on neither ideal, utilizing dragon-training as a means of defending the village, essentially becoming the most badass leader the clan has ever had while still remaining true to himself... his father is just as bewildered as he is proud.
- The sequel, How to Train Your Dragon 2, shows that Hiccup did, in fact, come by his facility with dragons honestly; his mother is a dragon tamer, too.
- In The Book of Life, Manolo Sanchez wants to become a musician, while his father Carlos wants him to become a bullfighter. Even though Manolo does have the skills of a bullfighter, he refuses to kill a bull, even in the Land Of The Unremembered, where he had to fight a hundred bulls that all morphed into one gigantic bull. Eventually, Carlos sees for himself that his son does much better as a singer when the song of apology that Manolo sings for the bulls that were slaughtered by the Sanchez family is so moving that it just turns the gigantic bull into a pile of flower petals.
- The subplot concerning Johnny and his father Marcus in Sing revolves around Johnny trying to hide his love of music from Marcus, who wants Johnny to participate in the robberies his gang of gorillas commits. Johnny tries to keep his participation in a talent contest secret from his father, but in doing so he inadvertently causes Marcus to be arrested and put in jail. When Johnny visits his father in prison to apologize, Marcus dismisses Johnny as "nothing to me." Marcus has a change of heart when he watches the broadcast of the talent show and realizes that Johnny has a natural talent and passion for performing. Enacting a prison break and evading a squadron of police helicopters, Marcus races to the theater to reconcile with his son, apologizing for his cruel words earlier and finally telling Johnny he's proud of him (all before turning himself back in to the police).
- The former Trope Namer was Billy Elliot, where this makes up a good deal of the first half of the movie. The "girly" hobby is ballet, the "manly" one is boxing. After Billy's dad gets over this, he sells the last of Billy's deceased mother's things and almost becomes a scab during the miners' strike to support Billy's professional dancing dream. It's an atypical example in that Billy's family doesn't come around because they want him to "be himself" — they realize that he's good enough at dancing that he might be able to escape the poverty that has the rest of them trapped. They even have this exchange, albeit in jest:
- Billy: Well, if I don't like [ballet school], can I still come back?
Jackie: ...You kiddin'? We've let out your room.
- There are a few Disney Channel Original Movies which make use of this plot:
- Arguably the most well-known is High School Musical with Troy. The "girly" hobby is singing, the "manly" one is basketball, and it doesn't help his dad is also the school's basketball coach, There are also elements of this with Gabriella but her mother doesn't oppose the singing, it's more that her friends want her to help them win the Scholastic Decathlon instead. They both manage to do both.
- Eddies Million Dollar Cook Off mildly plays with it. The "manly" hobby is baseball, the "girly" one is cooking, but only his brothers poke fun at Eddie for him. The others are more annoyed regarding the devotion (Eddie being the best player on his baseball team) between the two hobbies.
- This one even goes as far as to have one for both gender roles. The main plot above and a subplot with one of his female teammates hiding her baseball activities from her mother, claiming to be the team's cheerleader, for fear of not being girly enough. The mom suspected it and was fine with it.
- Jump In. The "manly" one is boxing (unlike Billy, Izzy is good at it), the "girly" one is double dutch.
- Ice Princess is this but with a Gender Flip and the "girly" hobby is still "girly" (figure skating) but the "manly" one is replaced with a "brainy" one (math). However, it's her knowledge of physics and math that helps her be a great figure skater.
- Mo's father in Lemonade Mouth dislikes her teenage looks, loosened-up attitude, and breaking from traditions, along with her involvement in the band. He also sees it as a distraction from her studies (she's a straight-A student).
- Two gender-flipped examples in Bend It Like Beckham:
- Main protagonist Jess is second generation Indian living in the UK. Her parents disapprove of her playing football, although not because of the boyishness; they want her to go to university and think football is distracting her. They come around when Jess is offered a scholarship to play in America.
- Jules meanwhile is an outright Tomboy with a mother who keeps trying to pressure her into being more feminine - fearing she'll never get a good boyfriend or husband because of her tomboyishness. Thanks to some bad eavesdropping, she thinks Jules is actually a lesbian and that she and Jess are a couple. She also ends up coming around actually sooner than Jess's family - getting her husband to teach her about football and attending a match (in a ridiculously feminine outfit too).
- Likewise in She's the Man, the female lead character is more interested in football (soccer) than the debutante ball. She ends up cross-dressing to play on the men's team.
- And again in Whip It, where the female lead joins a banked track full-contact women's roller derby team, while her mother coaxes her into attending beauty pageants.
- A tragic version of this plot is one of the driving forces behind Dead Poets Society. More exactly, the subplot with Neil Perry and his dad: Neil wants to become an actor whereas his father is adamant that he pursue a career in medicine. Neil ends up Driven to Suicide
- Searching for Bobby Fischer plays with this trope, but never goes full hog with it, as Josh Waitzkin's dad, Fred, realizes after playing one game of chess with his son that it would be better to let his son play a brainy boardgame than try to force baseball onto him. And when one of his teachers tries to discourage Josh from playing chess, Fred tears her a new one.
Fred Waitzkin: "I want you to understand something. He's better at this than I've ever been at anything in my life. He's better at this than you'll ever be at anything. My son has a gift. He has a gift, and when you acknowledge that, then maybe we will have something to talk about."
- Ironically, the real Josh Waitzkin eventually gave up chess for martial arts.
- Subverted in Kinky Boots with the Drag Queen and his father, a boxing lover who rejected his son even on his deathbed. However, the queen turns out to be very good at boxing in addition to performing.
- Played straight in Connie And Carla with a Drag Queen, except it's his brother trying to come to grips with it.
- In a way, the relationship between George Banks and his children Jane and Michael play out this way in Mary Poppins. George wants them to eliminate their childish notions, and grow up as proper English bankers like their dad. He is incensed at the example Mary sets for them and finds the children's adventures and playfulness frivolous and chaotic. He does eventually come around in the end.
- Bring It On has a similar case to the Ice Princess example. Torrence's mother hates that her daughter is a cheerleader and instead wants her to be an honours student. When Torrence announces that she's been made captain, all Mom does is complain that she's not taking an extra lab.
- Hunky Dory: Davy is discouraged from acting and singing, even though he has won the lead role; he even quits at one point.
- The intellectual version forms the main conflict of October Sky. The protagonist, Homer, wants to be a rocket scientist and has the aptitude. However, he lives in 1950s coal country, and his miner father is not impressed with his lofty goals; he basically thinks Homer should get his head out of the clouds and work in the mines after high school. He eventually changes his mind, even crossing a picket line to provide Homer with a necessary piece of equipment for his science fair project when the original model is stolen, and thanks to this Homer and his fellow "rocket boys" all get science scholarships.
- Float Like A Butterfly is a Gender Flip version. Frances, a Traveller girl in 1970s Ireland, desires to become a boxer against her father's wishes. Interestingly, Frances has a mild-mannered younger brother who would be a straight version of this trope were he the protagonist.
- There are about a zillion children's stories with this theme. One of the best known is Charlotte Zolotow's fairly Anvilicious 1972 story William's Doll, which was adapted into a song number in the TV special Free to Be...You and Me in 1974 and a short film in 1981. Rifftrax got hold of the short, and Mike, Bill, and Kevin act as if they're as disgusted by the idea of a boy with a doll as some of the characters are.
- Geoffrey Swivel in The Shepherd's Crown has elements of this, with foxhunting as the "manly" hobby and witchcraft as the "girly" one. His father never does accept him though, and instead his story is resolved when he demonstrates he doesn't need to care about what his father thinks.
- The Sissy Duckling is about an effeminate duckling named Elmer. His father is not supportive, but his mother doesn't care if her son is different from the other drakes. Elmer's dad tries to get him into baseball but Elmer can't hit the ball. Elmer finally gets the respect of his father and the rest of the flock after he saves his father after he's shot by a hunter.
- Oliver Button Is a Sissy: Played with. Oliver's dad tries to persuade Oliver to play sports with the other neighborhood boys, even though he's not good at them. Nevertheless, he supports his son's decision to enroll in a dancing school, and congratulates him on his performance at the talent show. Taking both actions into account, it seems that Mr. Button's more worried about Oliver spending too much time doing activities by himself, rather than ashamed of his interests in and of themselves.
- The whole Maxxie / Bill Bailey subplot on Skins features Maxxie, a Straight Gay Club Kid who wants to become a dancer being pushed by his dad into becoming a builder. Somewhat ironically though, Bailey's character is already a dancer (albeit the manlier "line dancing with dogs" rather than the tap / modern dance fusion Maxxie's into).
- Monty Python's Flying Circus':
- Inverted by the "Northern Playwright" sketch, in which the prodigal son the Yorkshire coal miner comes back to his old homestead in London to visit his father the theater playwright — the whole scene is written like the aftermath of this sort of setup gone wrong, only with the actual jobs reversed.
- Even better is that the father is dressed like a working-class man, living in a working-class house, speaking with a Yorkshire accent, and the son speaks an middle-class accent and is wearing a suit and tie...because that's the only thing he has to wear apart from his overalls.
- An episode of Cold Case features a wannabe (motherless) dancer, younger brother of a wrestler, who ends up dead, but amusingly not because his father disapproved of his choice but because he believed he would. For good measure, by becoming a dancer, he scored a seriously hot girlfriend, avoiding the Ambiguously Gay zone.
- On the other hand, his father was at least ambivalent... until he saw his son dance. He cared about excellence, not the form it took.
- On Glee, Finn is the football quarterback but is also interested in glee club. He is notably fatherless rather than motherless. The main people opposing him joining the glee club are his jock friends, especially his best friend Puck, who ends up joining the club himself in episode 4. It's averted with the Camp Gay character Kurt who, despite having a blue-collar father and dead mother, actually enjoys playing football and his father is supportive of him being gay and in glee club.
- Mike is a variation. His father couldn't care less about his interest in sports or performing, and wants him to be a doctor. His mother, however, pushes him to follow his dreams. His father eventually does, too.
- A variation occurs on The Brady Bunch. While Mike doesn't have a problem with Peter enjoying the glee club, his football teammates sure do and their jeers nearly cause Peter to quit the club. It takes a well-timed visit from guest star Deacon Jones to not only give Peter a lesson in Being Himself but to nip the other boys' old-fashioned perception of "manly" in the bud by telling them about how he and several other tough football superstars love to sing in their spare time.
- Subverted on Spaced. Brian actually pretends to be a lawyer to his parents so they won't know he's an artist. They then express disappointment that he didn't become an artist.
- The aftermath is shown on The House Of Elliott, the 1990s BBC costume drama about fashion in the 1920s. Daniel Page is engaged to marry Evie Elliott, and she insists on meeting his parents, a family of ordinary farm labourers. His father is bitter about him leaving them to go to art school, but he comes round eventually on meeting with Evie, and attends their wedding.
- Rupauls Drag Race, being a Reality Show about drag queens, is rife with this trope and every season has at least one sob story from a queen with unaccepting parents. The quote at the top of the page is one of the show's most memorable moments: a video message for Season 5's Alyssa Edwards from her Texas redneck father, tearfully apologizing for his past homophobia and expressing his support for Alyssa's drag. There wasn't a single dry eye in the room.
- An episode of House has (not a spoiler, since the viewer finds out in the cold open before the opening credits) a person born with ambiguous sexuality who had surgery to appear, and has been raised, as a boy. The "boy" was interested in ballet; his dad was okay with this, but his mother pitched a fit when she found out and make him go out for basketball instead, which he doesn't feel he's good at and isn't particularly excited about anyway. This is not quite this trope exactly, since the boy himself doesn't know that the "vitamin" shots his mom's been giving him are actually testosterone to make up for his lack of natural hormones, and he has a bit of a meltdown when he finds out the truth.
- This is a confusing one as the 'boy' was technically a girl as well. He also claimed he was interested in a member of his baseball team, which is also ambiguous.
- Inverted in an episode of Australian news satire show The Roast satirising speculation about cuts to the civil service. A boy explains he dreams of being a bureaucrat to his gruff, Northern father, who shuts him down, insisting he'll be a ballet dancer - as being a civil servant "just isn't a secure job."
- A fairly early television example comes from the 1979 Afterschool Special "A Special Gift"; featuring a small-town boy named Peter who is playing on his school's basketball team and also takes ballet lessons, with his father and classmates not particularly happy with his taking ballet lessons. The father later reveals that as a kid, he sang boy soprano in his church choir.
- Grey's Anatomy subverted this with one patient of the week, a young man with a talent and passion for ballet. The boy's father was a burly football-loving dude... who bragged about his son "kicking the other kids' ASSES" at ballet as enthusiastically as if his son were excelling at any other traditionally masculine sport.
- One episode of Sesame Street from 2011 has Baby Bear embarrassed to be playing with a baby doll and hiding it from Telly when he comes to play. When Telly discovers the doll and realizes it's Baby Bear's, the bear runs away in panic and explains his situation to Gordon, who tells him it's no problem if he's playing with what's usually considered a girl's toy.
- The demo version of "What I Know Now" from the Beetlejuice musical features a verse devoted to a deceased athlete describing how he was forced to give up his dream of being a dancer to satisfy his father's wishes.
Grew up poor, five miles from Tulsa
Forced to play ball, but I wanted to salsa
Daddy was strict, so I hid my dream away
Pop was so proud when I got drafted
Pushed my dream down, scared that I'd get laughed at
I lived a lie because I was afraid!
I was a quarterback with skill, but something in me was unfulfilled
I caught a flight, then I got killed
Never even got the chance to say "Hey, Papa! Watch me dance!"
- Kanji Tatsumi from Persona 4 suffers from this trope somewhat, with the exception that he hasn't got a father and is instead pushing himself towards trying to be overly masculine because his passion for sewing is a source of his mental insecurities (along with the fact that he is Ambiguously Gay).
- Elliot in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel follows this trope. Although his hobby, performing as a musician in an orchestra, isn't exactly girly by the standards of this trope, his father is a Four-Star Badass who leads an entire tank company and is famed as one of the best military generals in the country. He forcibly enrolled his son in a military academy rather than let him attend the music school he wanted to, hoping to toughen him up. While Elliot is grateful for the friends he ends up making at the academy, he does wish that his dad would be less harsh on him. By the sequel, his father finally accepts his son's hobby and goals and apologizes for trying to force him to be something he's not.
- Parodied in Team Fortress 2: The Sniper's foster parents do not approve of his job, not because he's an assassin, but because in The 'Verse of the game, Australia underwent Testosterone Poisoning and the males there are expected to be muscle-bound mustachioed macho men who solve their problems with their fists. Sniper 1) is skinny as a rail, 2) keeps his facial hair in Perma-Stubble, and 3) kills from afar.
- They also think he's kind of crazy.
- Inverted and Parodied on the South Park episode "Elementary School Musical" — the High School Musical spoof involves a boy named Bridon who wants to try out for basketball, but has an abusive, Camp Straight father who forces him to sing and dance instead.
- Spoofed (sans the father element) in The Simpsons episode "Homer vs. Patty and Selma". Bart is forced to join the ballet class after all the other PE activities had been taken, and to his surprise turns out to really enjoy it. On his first recital (in front of the entire school) he performs in a Paper Thin mask to conceal his identity. When the other boys are moved by the performance, Bart reveals himself. The others then rush the stage to beat him up. Krusty's father Hyman also fits this trope because he wanted Krusty to be a rabbi instead of a clown. When he found out Krusty was a clown during a club in his youth, he disowned him and didn't talk to him for 25 years.
- In the Family Guy episode "The Son Also Draws", Peter wants Chris to be in the Youth Scouts while Chris is more interested in drawing.
- This trope, or a variation on this, is a common conflict between Bobby and Hank on King of the Hill. The page quote on the show's page is "That boy ain't right" for a reason.
- Lampshaded in one episode where Bobby wanted to be a model. He brought up a TV show they'd both watched that had this trope, only to have Hank reply, "That's different, Bobby. I'm not an alcoholic, and you're not a figure skater."
- In one episode, Peggy is the one who disapproves of Bobby taking Home Economics, because he proves to be a better homemaker than she is. Hank for once is content to sit back and reap the benefits.
- Peggy's Drag Queen friend has a mother who is so supportive that there is genuine annoyance and upset that she doesn't disapprove even a little.
- Another episode has Bobby deserting the football team for the soccer team, to Hank's dismay.
Hank: Bobby, I didn't think I'd ever need to tell you this, but I would be a bad parent if I didn't: Soccer was invented by European ladies to keep them busy while their husbands did the cooking.
Bobby: ...Why do you have to hate what you don't understand?
Hank: [offended] I don't hate you, Bobby!
Bobby: I meant soccer.
Hank: Oh. Oh yeah, I hate soccer, yes.
- Played with in another episode where Bobby becomes a peer counselor for an extracurricular activity, despite Hank pressuring him to take auto shop. Bobby really wasn't interested in counseling; he just saw it as an opportunity to talk to girls.
- Another has Bobby and Joseph join a youth rodeo, which Hank is very proud of him for doing. But Bobby is more interested in being a rodeo clown than a cowboy and keeps it a secret from his father. Hank is initially disappointed when he finds this out but changes his mind when Bobby's performance saves Joseph from being gored by a bull.
- In an episode of Arthur, Arthur learns to knit during a storm and finds he actually enjoys it, but doesn't want anyone, save for Buster, to know that he knits because "it's for girls". In the end, when he's found out, no one but Binky teases him about it, and even then Arthur's piano teacher offers a rebuttal by commenting on how beautiful Binky's performance was... in Swan Lake.
- In Angela Anaconda, an episode features Gordy Rinehart making strawberry soufflés, even though his football-coach dad wants him to be a football player. Eventually, Mr. Rinehart decides it's better for Gordy to just be himself... and that he really likes the strawberry soufflés.
- One episode of Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids revealed that Rudy took home economics instead of gym because he loved to cook.
- Done in an episode of Baby Blues with cooking as the subject.
- Sofia the First: In "Lord of the Rink", Prince Hugo becomes interested in figure skating, but feels pressured into playing ice hockey to please his friends and his father. In the end, they eventually accept him.
- Parodied in an episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy titled "Billy Idiot," where Billy's said to be a dance prodigy (although we never actually see him dance) and has been accepted into a prestigious performing arts boarding school as a dance a major—Billy's dad, Harold, initially refuses to let Billy pursue dancing. It's later revealed that Harold was a dancer himself in his youth, but was discouraged from pursuing it by his own macho father. Of course, it's eventually revealed that the school is run by a powerful witch who feeds on the souls of great dancers.
- In I Love to Singa, Professor Fritz Owl is a classical musician and wants his children to follow suit. Most of them do, but one of his sons Owl Jolson wants to be a jazz singer instead. This upsets Fritz so much that he throws Owl Jolson out of the house, though he quickly regrets it. Fritz ultimately encourages his son that if he loves to singa, then he should singa.
- As a child, serial killer John Wayne Gacy loved gardening, but his abusive father would not let him do anything he thought of as "girly".
- Gordon Ramsay originally wanted to be a footballer for the Rangers. Unfortunately, he had to stop because of multiple knee injuries, and eventually started to study cooking. Gordon really felt a connection to Billy Elliot because when he was growing up, 'cooking was for poofs', and his father even accused him of being gay.